Statistics for the number of sex workers within Zimbabwe have been revealed. According to the Ministry of Health and Child Care, there is an estimated 44 586 sex workers operating in Zimbabwe. These are young women between the ages of 15 and 49 years.
According to the recently released HIV and Aids Estimates Report, the figure excludes people who have transactional sex and male sex workers. According to the report, approximately 7 000 sex workers operate in Bulawayo, while 13 000 are in Harare.
The HIV prevalence rate for the sex workers stands at an average of 55 percent, compared to the 13 percent national average. The report reads, ‘The size estimation for female sex workers was done in Bulawayo, Harare, Shamva and Mazowe using multiple methods. In Harare the number of female sex workers is estimated to be 12 800 and 6 800 in Bulawayo. At Shamva growth point, the estimate is 400 female sex workers and across Mazowe district the figure also stands at 400.’
Adding further, “HIV prevalence among female sex workers varies by site with small towns having the highest HIV prevalence. In Harare the prevalence stands at 54.4 percent, Bulawayo has 54.2 while Mazowe and Shamva recorded 59.2 percent and 54.8 percent respectively.”
The statistics are set to assist planners in understanding the effects of funding levels and allocation patterns on programme impact. It also helps understand how funding levels and patterns can lead to reductions in HIV incidence and prevalence and improved coverage of treatment, care and support programmes.